1863 July 19 Sunday Morning Remarks in the Salt Lake Bowery


1863 July 19 Sunday Morning Remarks in the Salt Lake Bowery



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George D. Watt

extracted text

By President Brigham Young, <made in Great Salt Lake City> Bowery July 19th, 1863.
Reported by G D Watt

For many years I have sought to instruct my fellow beings in the ways of life and salvation, and, as far as I had influence, I have endeavored to guide their <feet> in the path of right, in their faith, in their morals, and in the government of every passion and <fe> impulse of their natures. Whether my daily example has corresponded with my teachings I will leave all who <that> are aquainted with me to judge. <I think the time cannot be marked when I have ever deviated from moral religion.> My spiritual walk and conversation have been constantly before the Latterday Saints, who are my witnesses as to the way in which I have lived my religion.
It is my desire to be saved in the kingdom of God; and it is my desire that all <people> who can shall <should> be saved in the presence of God and of his Son Jesus Christ.<should be> For this I labor and toil, and with me it is the kingdom of God or nothing. Nothing <else> can endure only that which <endures> and abides in God.
All the triumphs of science and art are the grand results of revealed truth. All that mankind possesses <that whi> of true greatness and goodness is the gift of God. All that is not of God and that does not exist to honor him will sooner or later return to native element, consequently to serve God and to accknowledge him in his true character and in his works should be the greatest and highest purpose of mankind while they exist here. To deny the existance of God is equel to denying the existance of intellegence; <or of their own being> To deny the existance of God is equel to denying the existance of the earth, and of all things that live and breath upon it. Those who worship a God who does not exist, and to worship a bodyless, passionless, partless God is equel to worshiping something that does not exist, -- subscribe to the worship of a fable, and walk in total darkness, so far as the knowledge of the true God is conserned.
It must strike every sensible person that nothing can be made without a maker, that nothing can be created without a creator, and that no person can be begotton without a father, or brought forth without a mother. These are plain facts which we all naturally know. The earth exists and it owes its existance to a designer, organizer and framer. We exist, and owe our existance to a Maker. There is a Supreme Being, and to him the earth and its fullness of animate and inanimate existance owes <its> their being; and this God, br. Spencer told us this morning, he delightes to accknowledge. In the fashionable world it is quite a <coincidence> remarkable circumstance to find a single person who is willing to openly accknowledge the God of heaven as the creater, and upholder of all things. Indeed it <has> is <become> quite a task for professed Christains even to accknowledge God, hence they are exorted, "O my dear brother, <or> my dear sister, do take up your cross, and be not afraid to accknowledge God," for he that denieth me before men, shall be denied before the Angels of God." The man that cannot freely accknowledge God must be devoid of the best portion of that intelligence granted <every sense that belongs> to his race, <and> must stand<s> branded as unwise <a fool> in the midst of created things, and virtually denies before God and angels that he ever possessed true intellegence. <or and existance>.
ln a moderen revelation it is said that the Lord is displeased with none save those who do not accknowledge his hand in all things. Who gave the knowledge there is in the world? O inhabitants of the earth, can you hear it? It was God who gave it. Who gave <to> Robert Fultone knowledge to apply steam and machinery to propel boats? He said that he had dreams on the <matter> subject; Who gave them to him? It was God. Through the achievements of Agricultural sciense the raw material is produced of which all the numerous and varied appliences of civilization <is> are made; and the great attainments <of> in mechanical knowledge have harrnessed <up> the elements to powerfull and nicely adjusted machinery for making <make> the raw material into <for> articles for clothing and other conveniences. <Into every appendence of this mundane existence, yet> The greatest and the wisest of mankind are unable to make a musquito bill, or a leaf or <spear> blade of grass, indipendan<tly> of God and his laws. There are great mysteries connected with the different races of men. Why and how they <were> are made different in their couler, intelect, and phisical construction philosophers and learned men have failed to discover. Why have they thus failed? Because they do not possess the key to their own philosophy. Men may have much <a great deal of> knowledge given to them, and yet not possess the key of knowledge.
Bro. Spencer says he is thankful that he is located in these sequestered vales, far away from those who have hated, and hunted, and persecuted the Latter day Saints. Why have they so abused this people? <and it is> Because we hold the key of koowledge that all the world are ignorant of; for this <that> we have been driven to this secluded countery, I <am> also am exceedingly thankful that we are here. I used to pray to be dilivered from the Christains. I am dilivered from them, thank God, and from their pernicious influences. The nations of Christaindom naturally have <got> good common sense, <naturally,> yet it is so perverted that they do not know <enough to take care of> how to preserve themselves; they know not how to wisely guide their own affairs, nor how to conduct themselves one with another without corrupting each other, and <without> distroying every vestige of honer, virtue and truth that exists among them. Some of them are willfuly blind, and some are ignorantly so. They acckoowledge the bible to be true; they say that it contains the words of God to them; they say that they beleive the account given by Moses of the creation of man; that God said let us make man in our own image, after our likness," <yet> yet <in> <in> the most sublime and transcendant streatch of their philosophical and scientific<al> theology they have not suceeded in finding out <God> the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob <whic> in whome, in their few common sense moments of thought, they beleive. <in>. The bible gives him an image, a likness, a body, with parts, senses and pashions, which <that> has a location, a family, a home, but refined moderen theology, <robs him of all these qualifications> has set up an idol to worship which cannot be said to have the likness of anything that ever did, or ever will exist in all the eternities of God, and that does not possess any one of the qualifications <that is> possessed by the God of the Saints. It would be much more consistant <in> to altogether set aside the bible <altogether> as a revelation of the will of God to man, than to profess to beleive in it, and then depart from it in practice. It would be more consistant <to say th> boldly say that there is no God, and, consequently, no heaven, no earth, that we are not, or that we are anythig but what we realy are, than to presist in worshiping a fantam of the brain, at the same time perswading ourselves <at the same time> that we are worshiping the true God.
I can tell all the world that we have a Father and a God; that he has a home, a location, a mansion of Glory where he dwells; that he is endowed with all the powers of phisical and mental constitution possessed by his children -- mankind -- but that <only> he has those powers <them> developed in a degree infinitly more perfect than they; that he is capable of understanding and supplying the wants of all his creatures, and is touched with the infirmities of his children that live in a sinful world. Much <more> proof could be produced to <show> demonstrate that good, sober sense is not a prevailing element in the philosophical, political, theological and scientific knowledge of the world.
When men have surrounded themselves with the comforts of life, when they have accumalated means to live and friends to live with, when they are happy in their peaceful homes, removed from the buisy bustle and turmoil of life, when they enjoy the society of wives, children and freinds, being charmed and consoled <our ears are greeted> by music made at home, <our> their minds <aare> educated, amused and refreshed from the rich stores of their <our owen book case, in fact> libraries, when, in short they have surrounded themselves with every means of home comfort, improvement and enjoyment, O what a blessed and happy state of society it would be could such scenes of home felicity, contentment and peace be perpetuated, and remain forever undesturbed; but no, the husband and father <is> dragged from his peaceful domicile, hurried to the feild of sanguinary strife, where he is left bleeding far away from the loved ones at home, and the comforts that surround them, which cease to give them happiness in the abscense of him arround whome they once so oftened circled in their happy glee. Petty differences between potentates and rulers of nations have <got> to be arbitrated <settled> by the shedding <of>rivers of blood, and <over> sending <the> blight and <irremediable> dispaire <that is sent> into the bosoms of thousands of families whose protectors and freinds have fallen in the feilds of battle. True intellegence and good sense would devise means to protect every man in the enjoyment of life, home, countery and freinds; where <those> they prevail peace flowes like a river, and war with its dread consequences never comes. Is not the present <state> condition of the world a positive and undeniable proof that <the> the unperverted sense and wisdom which God gives does not prevail among mankind? <Is> Are not the sayings of the <scriptures> prophet litterally fulfiled? <They are>. "Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honer me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precepts of men: Therefore behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid." Again, speaking of Zion in the last days, "Now also many nations are gathered against thee, that say, Let her be defiled, and let our eye look upon Zion. But they know not the thoughts of the Lord, neither understand they his counsel: for he shall gather them as the sheaves into the floor."
Our nation would have spent millions of treasure to prevent the Latter day Saints from coming to these mountains, had they have known the counsels of the Lord. They may hunt the 'Mormons' now, but it will do them no good; they have driven us to where the prophet Joseph Said that we should be driven. He said, in Nauvoo, "this people will leave here. We <they> have been kicked <us> out of the frying pan into the fire, and the<y> next they do will be to kick us into the middle of <of> the floor where they do not want us." If we are not now in the middle of the floor, I do not know where the middle of the floor can be.
It is a fashionable practice <which prevails> in fashionable society to profanely sware by the names of God the Father and his son Jesus Christ, throwing dishonor upon the name of their Maker and upon the name of their Redeemer. God will bring all such into judgement. -<Any> True ladies or gentlemen, even if they did not beleive in the existance of Deity, would not be found useing his name profanely; <faulsly>; but the true character of a saint is to openly accknowledge God in all things, never taking his name in vain, but useing it at all times with reverance and proper solemnity; this also, properly becomes <a> every person of intellegence who is endowed with that wisdom which comes from God. Those who honer, and reverence the Auther of their existance, honer themselves.
While I am speaking of <conversing upon> the Christain world, my mind glances at the heathen world; they are as much Christains as those who profess the name of Christ in Christaindom. There <is> are no people upon the face of the whole earth but what <who> have <not> once been in possession of the knowledge of the true God, and have, some time in the <vista of the> past, been in possession of the holy preisthood. Why are they so ignorant and benighted in their understanding? and why is the Christain world so lost to every sense of duty to themselves and to their Father and God? It is because they have transgressed the law of God, have changed his ordenances, and broken the everlasting Covenant that God made with the fathers. Why is the house of <Isreal> Judah and the half tribe of Benjimen scattered to the four winds of heaven, and left to wander to<o> and fro in the earth like lost sheep? It is for the same cause, and because they clamored for the blood of the Saviour, and wished it to be upon them and upon their children. The other tribes were scatterd, and smitten, and led away for the same cause. If any of them have ever kept the holy preisthood among them, they have been led to where no communion could be held with them since they went away.
I declare to the heavens and to the earth, and to all intellegent beings that dwell in them, that we possess the true gospel of the Son of God, that we <own> acknowledge God <that we own> our Father who lives in heaven, in whose image we <were> are made; and, that we may dwell with him, we <shall> must be made perfect through suffering as he was. We beleive that he is perfect in his power, in his Glory, and in his exaltation, possessing all things and swaying his scepter over all things that we know anything about. <and this is enough for us to say> His power and <his> intellegence are every where disseminated; <and> not a sparrow can fall to the ground without his notice, and the very hairs of our heads are numbered. He goes where he pleases throughout his extended dominions; he is capable of walking through this congregation, or of preaching from this stand, and we would not know him from <an> one of ourselves; <us>. Or he can show himself in his Glory, which could not be endured by persons still in the flesh. We beleive in Jesus Christ the heir of the family, <who Jesus Christ> -- who gave his life for the redemtion of the earth, and every thing pertaing to it -- every flesh that ever lived and walked or crawled on the earth, flew in the air, or swam in the waters, that he may bring forth the kingdom God has prepared for him, and present it to his Father spottless; that was the object of his errand in the world. We beleive that he was the Son of Mary and of God, precisely as recorded in the New Testament. <tells it.>
I am happy <now> in having the privilege of speaking to my fellow beings who are passing through this Territory. <our countery to the west.> I have traveled scores of thousands of miles, often with bleeding feet and many times without food, only as God gave it to me to preach the gospel to mankind, and now <the> people are willing to come and hear me, <and> I am thankful for the privilege of speaking to them, and I shall tell them the truth, and in whome we beleive.
It is <said> stated, in the Book of Docterin and Covenants, that "Seth was a perfect man, and his likeness was the express likeness of his father's, insomuch that he seemed to be like unto his father in all things, and could be distinguished from him only by his age." So it is with Jesus Christ and his Father; they are one, and <could> can not be<en> known apart only as Adam and Seth were known apart, Shall we boldly accknowledge all these things before the world? Yes, and let the world howl as they have,--let them howl on. By and by every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess, to the glory of God the Father, that Jesus is the Christ.
We <might as well> had better do this sensibly and willingly. I do not know how other people feel, but I never want to be driven to do anything. I want to willingly do what I do, <willingly> that I my have credit for what I do. When I am forced to do a thing, then I have no reward. If I wanted to be a soldier in the army I would willingly go and be one, and fight like a man, <and go willingly>, but if they undertook to drive me to it they would have a hard work to perform. What! go to murder my fellow <creatures> men? But it is argued that it cannot be murder <for> when men kill each other in a popular war. It is just as much murder as it is for the Indians to kill the passing emigrants.
At the judgement of the quick and dead, popular leaders, who have inaugerated war instead of arbitrating peace, will be held accountable to God for the lives of their subjects which they have caused to be distroyed on the battle feilds, and for the thousands of hearts they have broken, and for the destitution and suffering they have caused to exist outside the battle feilds, in trying to maintain what they call the honor and dignity of their nation. Every generous, noble, and Godlike impulse that dwells in the breasts of earthly and heavenly beings cries aloud for war to cease. Is there not room enough in the world for every man to have his farm and his garden? And why cannot the advantages and blessings of commerce and good public government be enjoyed by all, without mixing folly, rabidness and devilism with wise and free <up with our popular> institutions? <foolism, dogism and devilism>.
What says the powers of wickedness? distroy each other, or make each other as wreatched as you possibly can. Heaven says let there be no war among you, my children, and let the bonds of everlasting peace continue to grow stronger and stronger until all are santified and I can come and dwell with you. But, Iike the children of Isreal in the days of the prophet Samuel, they say "make us a king to judge us like all the nations." When this demand was made of Samuel by the Isrealites, he prayed unto the Lord. "And the Lord said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them." A king was given to Isreal with this prophecy from Samuel, after they had seen the great sin in asking a king, "But if ye shall still do wickedly ye shall be consumed both ye and your king."
The people of the world have chosen kings to rule over them, as Isreal did of old, and have refused to accknowledge God to be their king. Hence desolating wars and <the> their consequent evils have from time to time almost depopulated kingdoms, <unmmitigated> <laying the foundation for> Burdensome exactions from the survivers to pay the expenses of costly and needless wars, and to sustain princes in their Luxurious idleness have made slaves of millions, who now groan in their chains and cry to God for diliverance. When the wicked rule, the people mourn; while prosperity, peace and plenty flows under the sway of righteous rulers.
It was the avericious, tyrannical, and grasping disposition that rendered it necessary for the American revolutionary fathers to take up the sword in defence of their liberties. Had the king of England conceded to them the right of self government when they called for it, the effusion of much blood would have been stayed, and that king would have had less to answer for before the bar of God.
Laws instituted by nations are to hold in check the turbulent, wicked, and unruly spirits of the people, and to fortify kingly authority and power against insurrection and the vengeance of the oppressed millions. Law is not made for the upright, only to exalt them. The law and order of heaven are given <are given> expressly to increase celestial intellegence in the saints, and to advance them in Glory and power eternal. The man who walkes uprightly before his God, and infringes <not> upon the rights of none, <his fellow beings>, but feeds the hungery and cloths the naked, doing all he <h> can to improve the condition of and happify his fellow beings, walks above all law, and goes onward, and still onward from conquoring unto conquoring. The laws of God are given to exalt the saint to a higher state of glory, <and> celestial felicity and power, while the laws of men are too often made and enforced to subject the creature who disobeys them to increased depths of misery and degregation. The law of God instiles into the human soul a hatered of sin by portraying the beauties and advantages of righteousness, <and> elevating it above even the disire to do wrong; the laws of men, consisting cheifly in a code of penalties against crime, are made more to over awe the creature, <while they do not> than to instruct and elevate the mind above the love of crime. Obedience to the one brings the Spirit of God -- the Holy Ghost -- to enlighten and educate the mind with heavenly wisdom; obedience to the other <some casa> promices protection of life and property, but in every instance leaves the mind still uninformed and in darkness. "The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul." "Great peace have they who love thy law."
The two ways are before us, the law of life, and the law of death; <the one chains up the dogs in confinement, the one <other> gives the sheep a wide range, and exalts them from glory to glory, the other unchains the dogs from confinement. The laws of men have a good and salutary in-
fluence upon society, keeping the unscrupolous meraurder and the desperatly wicked within bounds, encouraging the arts of industery and the progression of political and domestic econemy, therefore "Let no man break the laws of the land, for he that keepeth the laws of God hath no need to break the laws of the land: wherefore be subject to the powers that be, until He reigns whose right it is to reign, and subdues all enemies under his feet." "For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil." "Owe no man anything but to love one another, for he that loveth another hath fulfiled the law."
Very often we hear people <men> excuse themselves in their wickedness, because of sin which dwells in their mortal bodies, arguing that they were born in sin and shapen in iniquity -- born into the world with no good thing in them. This tradition is simply not true, and this favorite argument of theirs will fail them at the bar of God. <W> People are wicked because they list to be wicked. If they were made wicked without their agency, then may it fairly be expected that the same power will make them righteous without any effort of theirs; but seeing that they are wicked of their own free will and accord, they are very justly addressed in the language of the prophet, "Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts and let him <them> return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon <them> him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon."
My counsel to all the saints is to love God and keep his commandments; and to those who do not wish to be LatterdaySaints I say, live a good, moral, virteous life, and win the confidence of all your aquaintances, that they may esteem you as a faithful and trustworthy man.
May the Lord bless you. Amen.